Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett

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Rock - Alternative | Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Total Song Plays: 59   
Member Since: 2008
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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JPE Bio

Since 2006, Plaskett has toured extensively both solo and with The Emergency, to sold-out clubs and theatres throughout Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, on the heels of great Canadian success with his Make A Little Noise DVD & EP (2006) and Ashtray Rock concept album (2007). Make A Little Noise spawned an infectiously catchy hit single, "Nowhere With You," that landed Plaskett on the Top 10 at hot Adult Contemporary (AC) radio. He also garnered three 2007 East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) "of the year" wins: Single for "Nowhere With You," DVD for Make A Little Noise, and Songwriter. Ashtray Rock was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, and earned Plaskett and his band all six of the 2008 "of the year" ECMAs for which he, and they, were nominated: Recording, Group Recording, Single (for "Fashionable People," another hit song), Video (also for "Fashionable People"), Rock Recording, and Songwriter. He's also earned several Juno nominations (including Songwriter of the Year along side Neil Young), and was the First Place Winner in the 2008 Great American Song Contest and the Billboard World Song Contest, for "Fashionable People" (in the Pop Category). That's the kind of action that keeps a man on the road to support it..

And Plaskett travels as much musically as he does physically. Typically for him, Three is an eclectic blend of styles, ranging from the drum-machine rock 'n' roll of "Wishful Thinking" to the deep-country vibe of "Pine, Pine, Pine"; from the stripped-down acoustic folk of "New Scotland Blues" to the rollicking pop of "Deny, Deny, Deny." Plaskett also explores some brand new sounds this time out, like the penny whistles on "Sailor's Eyes," the dry pedal steel guitar on "Every Time You Leave Me Alone," and the soulful horns on the album's first single, "Through & Through & Through"

Another new texture heard throughout Three is the combination of two female backing voices singing in unison. That got started in February 2008 at the North American Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, where Plaskett met up with singer-songwriters Rose Cousins (who he knew from Nova Scotia) and Ana Egge (from Brooklyn). He called a Memphis friend, Doug Easley - who had previously recorded an album for Thrush Hermit - and booked a day at Easley's new studio, inviting the singers along.

"We recorded that seven-minute version of 'Wishful Thinking,' and I just made up parts for them," says Plaskett. "The thing was supposed to be a three-and-a-half-minute song, but I just kept writing verses on the spot. I made up a bunch of stuff, all these parts where they're going 'Hee!' and 'Hoo!' I was like, okay, this is how I want to record. This is cool. Writing on the fly, creating really quickly and spontaneously, making up parts in the studio." That was the first song recorded for Three, but Plaskett liked the sound so much that when he dug in for recording at his own Scotland Yard studio in Dartmouth, he called the two women back to sing on most of the songs on the record.

Three also marks the first time that Plaskett has recorded with his father, Bill, a, longtime musician himself. Plaskett senior, whose musical tastes run to British folk of the '60s, like Bert Jansch and Fairport Convention, used to play guitar and sing semi-professionally in a working band called Starboard Side, who made a recording for the CBC at one point. "I grew up around him playing a lot," says Plaskett the younger. "He invited me to play with him on a number of occasions when I was 14, 15 years old. He'd be playing a folk night somewhere, and I'd get up and play a song with him... Over the past couple of years, there've been opportunities where I've invited him up to play with the band, or do shows together. I just thought, in the back of my mind, that it would be great to document that in some capacity. So he's playing guitar or [four-string] tenor guitar on a lot of the second record of Three."